The National Media Commission (NMC), says it is yet to receive a formal response from the National Security Ministry, as part of its mandate to look into the assault on Citi FM journalist Caleb Kudah, and the invasion of the station’s premises after it was petitioned by management of the media house.
The NMC had indicated early on that its probe into the matter would be completed within 14 days, but with four days to the deadline, the Ministry is yet to communicate to the Commission on the complaints of Citi FM and Citi TV about the “inappropriate” conduct of its operatives.
Executive Director of the National Media Commission, Mr. George Sarpong, in a Citi News interview indicated that despite the timelines it scheduled with the Ministry and the failure to reply, it will still go ahead with its hearing of the substantive matter.
“We said, we have referred the matter to the Ministry of National Security for comments. We did that, exactly the same day we received the petition. We gave them up until yesterday [Monday], to get their response to us, and then we indicated that we will proceed with the hearing of the matter on Wednesday. I am yet to see the response from the Ministry. But whatever it is, our hearing of the case on Wednesday stands”.
Citi FM and Citi TV have specifically petitioned the NMC to use its mandate under the constitution that enjoins it to ensure the safety of journalists, to investigate or cause to be investigated the two incidents, and recommend appropriate actions.
Mr. Kudah was arrested at the National Security Ministry for filming abandoned MASLOC vehicles parked at the premises of the Ministry.
He was at the Ministry to verify a claim by a government official that all the cars had been given out.
This was after Caleb Kudah had complained about the wastage of public funds on social media.
A team of heavily-armed SWAT police officers subsequently were dispatched to arrest Citi News‘ Zoe Abu-Baidoo Addo at the premises of Citi FM and Citi TV.
This is because Caleb had forwarded some of the footage he captured to Zoe via WhatsApp.
Mr. Caleb Kudah in an interview with Bernard Avle on The Point Of View on Citi TV indicated that he was slapped several times by the security officers.
He also insisted that he was hit in the groin by Lieutenant Colonel Agyeman, Director of Operations at the National Security, who has since been relieved of his duties and resigned to the Ghana Armed Forces from his secondment.
In a rather interesting twist, barely a day after his reassignment, the Ghana Armed Forces has given him a new role as Commanding Officer in charge of the 64th Infantry Battalion.
Three police officers attached to the National Security outfit have also been withdrawn. All four officers are to face further probe for further actions by the various units they were sent back to after the National Security Ministry admitted that they acted “inappropriately” and in breach of its standard operating procedures.